Where To Eat Now, Midtown Edition With C.J. Hamm

(This week’s Where To Eat Now is brought to you by Tucson Weekly’s Noshing Around writer, C.J. Hamm.)

Unfortunately I do not get to spend all of my time covering the food scene.

No, the sad truth of it is my day job requires me to spend about 9 hours at my dull and stuffy desk in a mid-town law office. The mundaneness of the office food culture (think: stinky leftovers in mis-matched tupperware, tuna salad sandwiches and Subway orders) is purgatory for a foodie like me. I make it a point not to partake in this drivel of a nine to fiver’s lunch routine, and have found a nice, ethnic, and flavorful amount of great food in a small midtown area.

Pizza at Vero Amore

Pizza at Vero Amore

Vero Amore

2920 N Swan Rd

Real deal Napolitano pizza is always a must for me. It doesn’t get much more real or much better than Vero Amore. I’m a sucker for their Pizza Lussuria. The best part is that I can call ahead and have it “Hot N’ Ready” for those rushed days and for not much more price-wise than the “Pizza Pizza” guy advertises. On days I am having a more leisurely, Italian style lunch hour, the Shrimp Fra-Diavolo, with a glass of Cab or a Peroni does the trick.

Kang Ped Pade Yang at Bai Thong

Kang Ped Pade Yang at Bai Thong

Bai Thong

4853 E Speedway Blvd

This authentic Thai food joint on Speedway, just east of Swan, has me addicted.

Fragrant curries with fresh vegetables, and so many verities of other dishes, is something I could eat everyday. They don’t mess around either, if you order it Thai hot, expect to sweat throughout lunch. My favorite is Pork Kang ka Ree, but I’ve honestly tried almost everything on the menu and loved it.

Oxtails at CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen

Oxtails at CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen

Ceedee Jamaican Kitchen

5305 East Speedway

This place used to be on Swan. When they moved, I was nervous it would not be on my lunch path any longer. However, they moved just east of Swan on Speedway. It’s simply Jamaican food done right. Jerk Chicken, Oxtails, Stewed Beef, Curried Goat.. it’s got all the usual islander suspects, all flavorful and oh so irie mon!

Zayna Mediterranean

4122 E. Speedway

Zayna Mediterranean in Tucson

Zayna Mediterranean in Tucson

Not sure what took so long to check this place out, but it’s some of the best Mediterranean food in town. If you’re heading west on Speedway, Zayna’s creeps up on you pretty quickly after passing Alvernon in the former Feast location. Standout items include their amazing Hummus, Chicken Shawarma, and Lamb Kifta, but no joke, it’s all good at this place. Great for dinner, as well as lunch, their service is pretty spectacular, too.

C.J. Hamm, a native Tucsonan, is a Chow writer for the Tucson Weekly, including the columns “Noshing Around”, and “9 On The Line”. He’s a fanatical foodie who spent many years in the food and beverage industry and even more time as a consumer of fine local food and drinks. 

Adam Lehrman started Tucson Foodie in late 2008 as a way to track his search for the best food Tucson had to offer.